Back in 2011 Kizoic Comics created a tie-in comic book line for Kung Fu Panda, anticipating the release of the Kung Fu Panda 2 animated film that year. Well now in anticipation of next January’s upcoming release of Kung Fu Panda 3, Titan Comics are having a go with their own full-color Kung Fu Panda comic, written by Simon Furman and illustrated by Lee Robinson. “Po has been a busy Kung-Fu Panda! He’s had 2 hit movies, a successful TV show, and there’s another exciting movie on the way! And now he’s set to get even busier in his own brand new comic! Join Po, The Furious Five and Shifu – and all their enemies – for their own comic strip adventures! This issue kicks off a special two-part story: Wake Me Up Before You Po-Po!” Seriously. It’s on the shelves now!
Junji Ito is a well-known creator of horror manga in Japan, celebrated for his intricate black & white artwork. Now he’s done something… different. Autobiographical. But with a twist. It seems that Mr. Ito invited his fiancee’ to move in with him. Wonderful. Unfortunately… with her comes her two pet cats. A strange white cat named Yon (whose white fur features a skull-like pattern on the back) and Mu (a fluffy and fun-loving country cat). Mr. Ito is a bit put out by this development — especially since he’s a dog person! Now he’s detailed his frequent attempts (and frequent failures) to bond with these new feline housemates in a new manga, Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu. More recently, Kondansha Comics have translated the manga series and released them together in a single graphic novel. In black & white, of course! Find out more at Amazon.
Back in 2014, illustrator Katie Shaw got busy on a life-long dream of creating her own comic, based on the works she loved growing up. The result is Dragon Child, an on-line black and white fantasy comic created, written, and drawn by Katie, that is also available in paper form. Over the past year she’s been appearing at various comic conventions in the western USA to introduce people to her work. What’s the story? When the dragons of the world gather from the four corners to decide what to do about the growing impact of humans, a young girl named Ryu Kodomo discovers that she has caught the attention of an elf named Chase — and a precocious young “dracling” named Embyr. The comics and much more background material can be found at the official Dragon Child web site. Did we mention that Katie sells plush dragons too?
[A late Happy Halloween to you all! Here’s hoping it found you happy and safe.]
One day, brothers Amadeo and Carlos Lucero walked into the deep, dark woods near their home in Algodones, New Mexico… and encountered a deep, dark magic. Attempting to flee, suddenly Carlos finds himself transformed into a black and white calf! That’s the set up for Under the Cottonwood Tree (El Susto de la Curandera), a new full-color “Latino fairy tale graphic novel” by Paul Meyer, Carlos Meyer, and Margaret Hardy. Watch as our heroes encounter dangerous owls, talking rats, and magical spirits as they seek to un-bovine young Carlos. Under The Cottonwood Tree is set to be published soon, but the UTCT website has several preview pages up already.
Late in 2014 there appeared a new full-color very anthropomorphic comic called Squarriors, written by Ash Maczko and illustrated by Ashley Witter. “In a post-human world, two tribes of animals find themselves on the brink of war. Will they survive and find peace, or follow humanity into extinction?” For reasons not clear, humanity has vanished and been replaced by various forest animals, lead by the squirrels… and engaged in deadly, very bloody battles over territory. Now that the first 4-issue story arch has been completed, later this month publisher Devil’s Due is releasing them all together as a single trade paperback. Take a look at their web site — but be warned: When we say bloody, we mean it.
In case you missed it, Paul Jenkin’s Fiction Squad comic book mini-series was a continuation of his Fablewood concept: A place where all fairy tales and bedtime stories live side by side. Now Boom! Studios have collected the entire 6-issue series in a new Fiction Squad trade paperback. “Fablewood is a pretty dangerous place, but no area is more dangerous than the City of Rimes, deep in the heart of the Children’s Realm. After transferring in from the Realm of Mystery, a failed detective from an unfinished prose novel, Frankie Mack, is about to uncover a conspiracy that could unmake storytelling itself. After Humpty Dumpty is pushed to crack and Jack (of Jack and Jill) goes AWOL, Frankie and his partner, Simple Simon, are put on the case.” With full color illustrations by Ramon Bachs, the book is 160 pages and it’s coming very soon. Take a look over at the Boom! web site. Anthropomorphic animals (and many other things!) abound.
Teagan Gavet is likely better known in furry fandom as the artist Black Teagan — and perhaps known best as one-half of the award-winning art collective known as Blotch. Now she has created a brand new full-color anthropomorphic graphic novel of her own, Oren’s Forge, and she plans to put installments up on line starting soon. “The bizarre rumor of a sanctuary free from predation has reached many animals, and not just those considered as prey. Two pine martens, Rask and Quannaq, follow the tales to the lake that lay in the shadow of mountain. While they have the long teeth of a flesh-eater, they know the constant fear of greater hunters who consider them only meat. Convinced that there is more to this life than a mere transition into death, they go on toward the unknown, unsure if they will find welcome or ruin.” Visit the official web site for updates, and look for Oren’s Forge on line starting November 16th.
Salem Hyde is a black & white fantasy comic series written and illustrated by Frank Cammuso — which he’s published in 5 collections since 2013. Here’s the description of the first volume, The Misadventures of Salem Hyde, Book One: Spelling Trouble: “Salem Hyde just isn’t like other kids. For one thing, she’s stubborn, independent, and impulsive. For another, she’s a witch. Salem acts first and thinks later—which means most of her thinking involves coming up with excuses! Good thing she’s been assigned an animal companion, Lord Percival J. Whamsford III. This over-anxious cat doesn’t like Salem calling him ‘Whammy,’ and Salem doesn’t like listening to his long-winded explanations as to why she shouldn’t do something . . . like enter the class spelling bee.” Of course he’ll try to explain to her they mean something different by “spelling”. Good luck! Check out the first book (available in hardcover and paperback) over at Barnes & Noble, then follow the links to find the rest. They’re published by Amulet Books.
Few Internet phenomena have grown so huge as the droopy-faced feline known as Grumpy Cat. She is literally everywhere. Well now, Dynamite Entertainment have brought us what is perhaps inevitable: Grumpy Cat has her own full-color comic book series. “Dynamite proudly presents The Misadventures of Grumpy Cat #1, featuring The World’s Grumpiest Cat and her brother, Pokey! With her ever-present pout and sassy disposition, Grumpy Cat has won the hearts of people everywhere. Grumpy Cat is the perfect combination of unbearable cuteness, instant fan appeal, and established multimedia presence. If you love the memes, the videos, and that irresistible scowl, then get ready for the wildly fun antics of Grumpy Cat and Pokey in Dynamite’s all-new, all-sensational Grumpy Cat comics!” With artwork by Steve Uy and Ken Haeser, and stories by a small army of writers, the first issue is available now. Check out the preview over at Comic Book Resources. Meow.